6 Easy Steps to Telling Great Bedtime Stories

If you've read any of the Harry Potter books with your kids, you know how a good story can make them forget all about video games, MTV and fighting with the neighbor's children. Telling your kids stories is another great way to connect with them and ignite their imagintions. So go ahead, create a world only the two of you know about. Nervous about your storytelling abilities? Here are six simple steps that can make anyone a master at keeping those little audiences rapt.

1. Start with a classic or powerful beginning that whisks your listener from the room and transports him into another land or reality. Here are some suggestions:
• A long, long time ago
• Once upon a time
• Many, many years ago, when the world was young
• A long time ago, before there were_________
• This story begins when a young girl/boy decided that he/she would never be afraid of_________again.
• In a far-off land, there once lived
• One stormy night, when the world seemed as it were drowning....
• It all started when there was a knock on the door. Needless to say...

2. Create and name a hero or heroine and begin the story with a change in the character's normal life. Perhaps he or she begins a journey. Perhaps a mysterious letter arrives or a stranger appears at the door. Perhaps a magical or mystifying event takes place. Perhaps he or she finds a strange object. Whatever the incident, it should shake the character from his or her ordinary routine and launch the story.

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